Do Portable Air Conditioners Use A Lot of Electricity?

Portable air conditioners are very effective at cooling down your space, but they use electricity. Because of this, many wonder whether these units consume a lot of energy and cost more to run than standard A/C units. 

The answer depends on several factors, including the size of the unit and how you choose to cool your space, so let’s take a closer look at portable air conditioners and see if you can get an answer to this question for yourself.

How Much Electricity Do Portable Air Conditioners Use?

A window air conditioner is rated in watts. The efficiency rating measures how much electricity the unit consumes, measured in watts per hour. The higher the wattage and efficiency rating, the more energy efficient it is. 

The average central air conditioning system consumes 800-1000 watts per hour, while a window unit with an average efficiency rating will consume 150-450 watts per hour at full capacity. 

If you have central heating or cooling in your home, an electric or gas furnace running constantly can put a significant dent in your monthly power bills. Consider using a portable air conditioner instead to save money on your power bill. These units are usually less than half as powerful as window units. 

You’ll spend far less time waiting for them to cool down your living space, which means lower operating costs and savings in the long run. They’re also designed to be quieter than most other types of AC units so that they won’t disturb family members who are sleeping or watching television during evening hours when most families are typically getting ready for bedtime. 

Many homeowners swear by their portable air conditioners for those reasons and more!

Related: Benefits of Rechargeable Air Conditioners 

How Much Electricity Is Needed To Run A Portable Air Conditioner?

The amount of power an air conditioner uses will depend on the size and how often it’s turned on. 

Portable air conditioners generally use about 120 watts when running for eight hours. This means that if your home uses 1,000 watts an hour, your portable air conditioner will use about a quarter of the electricity in that time. 

However, checking which type you’re buying is important because some models are more efficient than others. It’s also good to ensure you don’t overuse your unit; turning it off when not in use can save you money by reducing the amount of electricity used by your portable air conditioner. 

It is worth of note that energy prices vary from region to region. 

A typical 100-watt light bulb for four hours each day costs $1.41 per month, but the same light left on 24 hours a day costs $2.85 per month. Make sure to calculate your energy usage based on cost and consumption before deciding whether or not purchasing a portable air conditioner makes sense for you!

What Are The Most Efficient Portable Air Conditioners?

The most efficient portable air conditioners are ones that have a built-in, energy-efficient compressor. The compressor is the component that creates cool air and moves it into your room. If you buy an air conditioner with this compressor, you won’t need to worry about using too much electricity because it’s designed to be as efficient as possible. 

The most efficient portable air conditioners also have what’s called an auto-restart mode. This feature lets the unit restart automatically after a power outage. You don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable in the heat while waiting for your AC to start up again. Plus, these machines will turn off if they sense that there’s no demand for cooling and save power at the same time. 

But how do you know which one has the best features and saves the most money on your electric bill? That’s why we’ve put together a list of our three favorite models.

Related: Inverter Air Conditioner vs Inverter Air Conditioner Comparison 

#1: LG LW8015ER 10,000 BTU Window Mounted Room Air Conditioner 

No matter how hot it gets outside or how high the humidity levels climb inside, this powerful machine can help keep things cool all day long without costing you a fortune in utility bills. 

#2: Soleus Air PAJ80-14 14,000 BTU Wall Mounted Portable Evaporative Cooler

What sets this particular air conditioner apart from others is that it sucks in moisture from the air and then releases a cold stream of fresh water vapor. 

When it comes down to sheer size and weight, this may not be the right choice for everyone since it weighs 115 pounds. But if you’re looking for a space saver with tons of power (enough to cover 800 square feet), look no further!

#3: Honeywell MN10CESWW 10,000 BTU Energy Smart Window Mounted Air Conditioning Unit

An Energy Star-rated window-mounted portable AC with 6 fan speeds gives you complete control over your indoor environment.

What Are The Best Portable Air Conditioners?

When looking for a portable air conditioner, be sure to consider what size you need as well as any additional features so that you get the best value for your money. A smaller unit will usually use less electricity than a larger one because its compressor doesn’t have to work as hard. It also helps that they’re cheaper since they’re designed to be lightweight and easy to transport.

The higher the BTU rating, the more power is required, which means using more electricity. 

Look for models with electronic controls instead of manual dials if you want something with multiple speeds or fan settings. Electronic controls have variable-speed motors, meaning they take less energy when running at lower speeds or standing by at high-speed mode. 

If you’re considering purchasing one from a retail store, be sure to compare air conditioner prices before making a purchase because some stores charge significantly higher rates than others due to factors like location. 

Related: Portable Air Conditioners vs Window Unit AC Comparison 


Portable air conditioners typically use much less electricity than central air conditioning. However, the size of the room and the number of people in it can affect its power usage. If you have a large room that needs to be cooled, you will likely need a larger unit. 

Donald Felix

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